Thomasin McKenzie and Alex Wolff are the epitome of “growing up too fast.” (Credit: Blinding Edge Pictures)

Since making moviegoers’ jaws drop with the twist ending of The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan has walked a fine line between riveting intrigue and flimsy storytelling. Yet with Old, his most dissonant and devastating film to date, he appears to have mastered the art of cinematic tension. Like most Shyamalan films, Old uses a simple yet terrifying premise to explore themes surrounding family, gender, and mortality.

Old is light on exposition and initially comes off as a bit on-the-nose. “You have a lovely singing voice,” Prisca tells her daughter as she croons during the car ride. …

It’s scary how many horror movies come out each year that immediately fade into oblivion — yet they enjoy broad releases and overly excited followings (looking at you, Ari Aster’s oeuvre!). These films regurgitate the themes of classic horror and science fiction, and while some, such as The Witch, are worthy contenders, die-hard horror fans like me are eager to find some fresh blood (so to speak).

Thankfully, the past few decades have yielded some hidden gems, all with unique concepts and genuine scares. To me, the best horror films strike a good balance between premise and creepiness. They feature…

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Ever read a great article about a local artist or filmmaker and think, Man, I wish they would do a story about me! It’s not as hard as you might imagine to get press coverage for your art or creative project. Contrary to popular belief, print media is not dead — and in fact, many publications are hungry for content, especially human interest stories. So, how can you get your name on a journalist’s desk? Follow these steps.

Find your pitch

Newspapers are just that: they focus on news. If you have nothing coming out, you likely won’t catch a news editor’s eye…

Photo by La-Rel Easter on Unsplash

If your work schedule looks like most Americans’, you wake up, drink some coffee, check your email, and then chug through your list of tasks. In the evenings, you unwind or work on personal projects. At the end of the day, you go to bed to start the cycle over again.

The problem is, this system doesn’t work for most people. It assumes that we’re built to work for eight hours, then turn off work and pursue our passions — or enjoy some good TV. For many people, it can be hard to turn off the work. …

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Back when I was young and naive, I decided to rent a room in my friend’s house. She gave me the lease to sign right after I’d gotten off a 12-hour shift, so I didn’t read it thoroughly before signing.

Big mistake.

I looked at it later only to find it had some unsavory provisions, such as requiring me to pay 75 percent of the costs of any upgrades she wanted to make to the house. Long story short, I ended up breaking the lease — and I learned a valuable lesson about reading contracts thoroughly.

Now, as a full-time…

Dani (Florence Pugh) adopts splendiferous feminine glory in the face of personal apocalypse.

Horror movies explore the darkest aspects of human nature — and sometimes, that happens in the blinding daylight. That’s the visual premise of Midsommar, which portrays a group of Americans visiting a strange commune in Sweden. As they become entangled in the locals’ violent rituals, their relationships break down. At the center of the plot is grieving student Dani (Florence Pugh), who clings to her dying relationship with her boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor) after her sister kills herself and their parents.

If this already sounds like it’s ripe for revenge fantasy, you’d be correct. And Pugh does an excellent job…

It’s simple, really.

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You feel tired all the time. You can barely drag your butt out of bed. You have the constant feeling that you’ve forgotten something. Your head hurts, your eyes itch, and you haven’t felt a modicum of happiness in…who knows how long.

You’d think that with our massive intellect and stunning self-awareness, we’d be able to quickly suss out what the hell is wrong with us. But sadly, we’re limited to browsing self-help articles, spending too much money on exercise apps, and frantically googling the question:

“Why do I feel like shit?”

The reasons aren’t that complicated. …

and what to say instead

The face you don’t want to see in conversation. Photo by Егор Камелев on Unsplash

We’ve all had conversations in which we felt uncomfortable, unheard, and unfulfilled. Perhaps our conversation partner’s head was off in the clouds. Perhaps they have a bit of a listening problem.

Or perhaps it’s you.

Every book and article about how to be a likable person/get more friends/be more charismatic focuses on listening to others, making them feel good, etc. Sure, that’s all important, but what you say matters too. People can always sniff out insincerity.

No one will like you if you’re all smiles and then say something as tactless as a sea slug. You’ll annoy people if you…

Lessons in big damn wordplay

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Years ago, I ran a blog called “Confluey,” where I posted musings about media, culture, and society. The blog never made it big or had more than five visitors per month, but it got me started writing on the Internet. What I remember most about the blog, though, is its name.

“Confluey” is a word used by the character Cordelia Chase, who was created by veteran TV screenwriter/producer/director Joss Whedon. She’s attempting to turn the noun “confluence” into an adjective, and it comes off as a real word. Whedon’s scripts are full of such neologisms, as well as a linguistic…

and how to deal with them

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Whether you’ve been dealing with newly work-from-home team members during the pandemic or have always managed remote workers, you’ve probably noticed certain tendencies. Everyone’s work personalities play out in different ways when they are remote. The science shows that they tend to be more productive, but what does that really mean? Here are the four types of remote workers.

The Zoom Addict

This colleague is highly extroverted. They deeply miss the opportunity to stroll by everyone’s desk and interrupt them for the latest gossip. Now that your team is having regular Zoom meetings, they eagerly sign into the call before anyone else, then…

Rachel Wayne

Artist/anthropologist/aerialist writing about art, media, culture, health, science, enterprise, and where they all meet. Join my list:

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